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Gary Urgonski

“As a child, growing up in the Midwest, I was drawn to auto junkyards, odd bits of refuse and even to the sea, although I was never to see the ocean until I was twenty-one and moved to the East Coast. Now, as a sculptor, I realize I have always imagined emotions in discarded objects. The 1950s Studebaker or Packard, rusting in the corner of an auto graveyard, was once shining and had a proud owner. The rotting back seat over fifty years ago perhaps held two lovers. Finally, the car was rejected. Abandoned.

The old clam rake, the cracked gauge, a small section of pipe jumbled in the junkyard—who used them and when?

Along the beach, pieces of wood wash up, broken, bleached, and worn. How did they get from where they were made to here? What stories do they have to tell of the larger piece they once comprised? What, indeed, was its larger form?

All these broken, worn pieces belonged to people, perhaps long dead. What emotions did they experience? Did they feel pride when they used these objects?
Love? Excitement? I like to think the detritus I find in junkyards or along the shore or
elsewhere still contain the feelings of the people who once used them. By joining these disparate pieces to create a new meaning, I hope the piece is stronger because of its emotional spirit.”

Gary Urgonski

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